A crying shame, that’s what it was all right, and it was that long before the Summerset Village Apartments’ slumlord was exposed in The Bee and the mayor declared a local state of emergency. People suffered. Refugees were living in deplorable conditions and suffering in silence, afraid to speak lest they cause trouble that might mean they would lose the little they had.
Now the city is close to canceling Chris Henry’s fines because he stepped up. But don’t forget it wasn’t his decision to be accountable. He was silent until his name was Bee daily fare. He was content to let families live in atrocious conditions with more code violations than they could count.
If the city of Fresno lets him off, what does that say to other derelict landlords of derelict properties? Fresno has every legal right and a responsibility to collect Mr. Henry’s fines. Why have penalties if they are not enforced? That would be another crying shame.
Suzanne Lawson, Fresno